Wedding Planning Guide

NicoleMaui Photography

Wedding Planning Guide

Congratulations, you just got engaged. Enjoy your moment because afterwards, until the day of your wedding, there are a lot of things that need to plan. You have dresses, guest lists, rings and much more, but what about the two main events? Your ceremony and reception.

Since there are many details, not to mention the services of outside vendors, you just want to be sure everything happens without a hitch. Besides, your guests will be witnessed to both, so you want to leave a favorable impression. They are not part of the behind the scenes items, so they only remember the main events.

Your Wedding Ceremony

Once you have set the date, you have to consider the following:

  • Type of Wedding. Will it be indoors, outdoors, local or out of town. Will you go formal or, themed? This decision will be what drives the rest of your planning for both the ceremony and the reception. Also, plan out three or four dates until you have your destinations decided on, in the event those places are already booked on your selected date.
  • Size of Wedding Party. Who will be responsible for what during both events?
  • Who is Performing the Service. Sometimes this can be tricky if you have different religions involved, so discuss it first. Also, if different religions are involved, you may consider both officiate.

Use of Vendors. In the event you are not using a wedding coordinator, you will have to select particular vendors that meet your wants and needs, as well as your budget. Don’t feel obligated to anyone and don’t settle on the first one. There may be more value for your money out there.

  • Photographers. More than any other vendor you hire, the photographer is the one that should be of the utmost importance. After all, they are the ones that will be capturing your lifetime moments. Be sure to look at their portfolios, websites and spend time with them. Do they seem like someone that you can work WITH or against you? Do they seem like they care about you or your money? Be thorough and comfortable.
  • Videographers. Much like your photographer but not as distributable as photos. Much like the photographer, see plenty of their work and get a feel for their personality. Are they creative enough or can a tripod in the corner do as well.
  • Florists. The flower arrangements you decide on are the first things your guests will see as they arrive. So select flowers that are in bloom, that represent you and arrangements that will catch their attention. Be sure your florist can be at both locations early for set up.
  • Music. Selecting the proper mood music prior to the start of the ceremony sets the tone for the ceremony. Is it sleepy or too annoying? Is it music people will know or be offended? This also goes for the music that is played during the ceremony. Do you need an instrumentalist? A singer? Or just music on a cd?

Your Reception Ceremony

Much like the wedding itself, your reception will reflect you and how beautiful or memorable people will remember after they have left. Therefore, many of the above suggestions from the wedding ceremony also play out here.

  • A Themed Reception? Make this decision early as it will dictate how the location will be decorated or what music will be played, as well as the attire by your guests; such as a Hawaiian theme.
  • Your Vendors. The vendors used for your wedding should also be used for the reception. The only exceptions would be the music, the cake and the caterers.
  • Music. Will your music be provided by a live band, a DJ or prerecorded music? If you are going with a band or a DJ, get references. Were they boring during and in between songs, did they keep the party moving and fun, and do you feel comfortable with them. What kind of music do they have or play? Be thorough.
  • The Wedding Cake. Be sure they arrive early for placement and sample their cakes for taste. Also, see photographs of their work.
  • Your Caterers. Much like the wedding cake (and sometimes they can be the same person), look over their menus. Look at all the options and ask questions. Be sure they have food that vegetarians can also enjoy. Will it be served or buffet style? Be sure to give them a final count of guests as this will allow them to prepare plenty of food. In addition, discuss any seating arrangements with them ahead of time, so they know where the people of priority are sitting, such as parents of couple, etc.

So as you can see, details are everything. Just be sure once you have decided on your vendors to follow up with them a couple of times, including a week before just to touch base. Never feel obligated to hire a vendor, especially if you are not comfortable with them. This is your day, not theirs. Now go and have fun!